Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. Todd Howard, lead blokey on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, has fessed up that last game Oblivion ditched a bit of the wonderful oddness of its marvellous predecessor Morrowind - and that this is something Bethesda hopes to correct in Skyrim.
I entirely agree. I found a lot to like about Oblivion, but all those forests and Euro-cities sure were a comedown after the cities made from giant turtles, building-sized waterfleas and bio-mechanical spider-dwarfs that Morrowind offered.
Said Howard to Official Boxes Magazine, “With Oblivion, we’re dealing with the capital province, and we wanted to get back to the more classic Arena and Daggerfall feel of a fantasy world that felt more refined and welcoming. A place that you instantly understood. But in that, we sacrificed some of what made Morrowind special; the wonder of discovery.”
The aim this time around is "trying to bring some of that back and walk the line between Morrowind and Oblivion. Where it's at first familiar looking, but has its own unique culture and spin on it."
I guess some people are going to say BUT IF IT'S A MIDDLEGROUND IT'S NO GOOD AAARGH RAGE HATE BETHESDA RAAAAAAGE but I'm enormously happy to hear Skyrim at least recognises what made Morrowind quite so special. This is light years better than saying "yeah, it's like Oblivion but more accessible," which is something I wouldn't have been entirely surprised to hear. But I didn't hear it. I am pleased this day.
Whether or not Skyrim will actually make good on these claims, Howard clearly understand the concerns of TES old hands. "It should feel alien, kind of 'stranger in a strange' land, with familiar looking elements only rooting you early in the game. The whole tone ends up being one of 'I'm an outsider, I'm uncomfortable'."
Excellent. Discomfort does make me comfortable. And in the game.